The contribution of one of the most accomplished scientific and technical advisers to the whisky industry has been recognised with a new annual award as part of the Scottish Whisky Awards annual celebrations.
Dr Jim Swan had a forty-year career as a research scientist and trusted adviser to whisky distilleries around the world prior to his sudden death in 2017, aged 75. His tireless work to collaborate, encourage and steer whisky producers to pursue excellence in whisky production, has been universally admired by the industry as they have mourned his loss over recent years.
The awards judging panel received the blessing of Dr Swan’s family to create a new annual award which is titled “The Dr Jim Swan Award for Services to Scotch Whisky” and will be presented annually to an individual making an outstanding contribution.
This year, the award was presented to Dr Swan posthumously and was accepted by his daughters at the inaugural awards ceremony, alongside a tribute film featuring many of Dr Swan’s distillery clients including Annandale, Clydeside, Lindores, Cotswolds and Penderyn.
The idea, proposed by Professor Alan Wolstenholme, the chair of the judging panel, received the full approval of the judges and many from the industry which benefitted from Dr Swan’s advice. He commented;
“It is a real honour to be able to create this important award. It is an opportunity to keep the name and legacy of Dr Jim Swan front and centre in Scotch whisky and to celebrate his many achievements. He was a passionate educator, a collaborator and a tireless supporter of new distilleries trying to get off the ground. His selfless sharing of knowledge and expertise has benefitted a huge range of distilleries in Scotland, England, Wales and abroad.
“It is also an opportunity to share the character of Jim which made him special. He was warm, witty and humble; a complete gentleman who selflessly shared his expertise for the benefit of the whisky industry.”